How Perennial Painters got its name...really!
Larry Wahler, the house-painter, is sitting on the deck in the back of his customer, Dave's house. It is a very pleasant, late morning in June in Rockford IL; and Larry soaks up the sun that reflects off the Rock River which flows by peacefully some thirty yards in front of him. As Larry gazes through the hickory leaves above him, the family's wire-haired terrier, Izzy, suddenly bounds off the deck in pursuit of another squirrel.
Larry now reflects back to four years earlier when he had first arrived at this grand house to meet the new owners, Dave the Psychiatrist andTracy the MD, who had just moved to Rockford from the island of Manhattan. Larry remembers commenting that that would be like him being transplanted to the Arctic Circle. The new homeowners marvelled that the houses here were not surrounded by high, security fences.
Larry came to them highly recommended by a neighbor down the street whose house he and his crew had painted a few years earlier; and now Dave wanted him to transform their drab-looking white house into something "colorful and charming". Which Larry and his guys did over the course of two months, creating a visual delight by combining various shades of earth-toned greys and complementary whites with a classic burgundy. The house became a highlight on the street known for its distinctive architecture. [Dave and Tracy's house is the middle image on the website's About page.]
During that initial project, a mutual trust developed between Larry and Dave;and so Larry returned periodically, upon Dave and Tracy's behest, to continue his decorating efforts on the inside of the house. He and his crew painted, faux finished, and wallpapered nearly every room there; becoming, along the way, a default extension of their family.
And so, now, as Dave joins him on the deck, Larry is greeting a friend, as well as a customer.
Dave reminded Larry that the annual, massive, neighborhood garage sale event was under way; "You really need to take advantage of this marketing opportunity", Dave chided. "Throngs of people will be passing by here today, and a sign would, of course, draw their attention to this stunning paint job you've done here."
"The one problem with that plan, Dave, is,as you well know, my business doesn't really have a name," Larry sighed. Izzy sighed, too, in seeming agreement, and Dave laughed.
"Then today is the day that we put an end to your anonymity, Larry. No more flying under the radar for you. We need to find you a name that is catchy, but not corny."
"How about Presidential Painters?" Larry winked at Izzy who only rolled over in the sun.
Dave saluted before he said,"Yea, and then you could use Mt. Rushmore on your logo. I always thought Abe would look cute in a painter's hat!"
"Way too mechanical sounding. You and your guys are more like artists, Larry, not engineers."
The two of the them sat there for a time slinging p-words at each other...profitable, passionate, prohibitive, punctual, pristine, photographic, peculiar, pleasant, pathfinding, problem-solving, precise, practical, popular...until Dave shot out of his chair with his arms thrust toward the sky signifying a literary epiphany.
"Pulchritudinous!" he bellowed, which caused Izzy's ears to poke upward.
"O.K., wise guy. What on earth does pulchri..tu..to..mous mean?"
"Pulchritudinous. Extremely beautiful. As in, the Pulchritudinous Painters made this house look absolutely exquisite." Dave was still standing as he swung his arms toward the house behind him.
"In case you haven't noticed, Dave, there aren't a lot of people who walk by here everyday with a dictionary in their pocket. Now just sit down and take a load off your brain."
As Dave sat, Izzy stood and sprinted into the kitchen through the open door, which could only mean that his true master, Tracy, had arrived home. In a few minutes, she was on the deck with a tray holding three glasses filled with iced tea.
"Is that smoke I see coming out of your ears, Dave? What kind of brain-storming are you guys up to now?"
When they told her about their recent obsession with p-words and naming Larry's business, she only excused herself so as to retrieve some lemon slices.
But before Tracy even made it to the kitchen, she swung around and posed one of her patented, rhetorical questions. "Who comes back here to do painting year after year after year? Why, the Perennial Painters, of course!"